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Your Childhood Collections May Be Worth a Bundle
CNBC.com | March 06, 2012 | 05:41 AM EST

In Stanley Gibbons’ world famous London stamp shop, collectors marvel at the rare “plate 77 penny red” stamp while turmoil rages far away in the financial markets.

Since 1856, Stanley Gibbons has been buying and selling rare stamps. Its index of Britain’s 30 rarest stamps has risen by almost 70 percent over the past five years, outpacing equities and gold.

The rare plate penny 77 red, seen as the holy grail of stamps from Great Britain, costs nearly $900,000 – a sizeable investment and one that an increasing number of investors are considering as an alternatives to today’s unstable markets.

“We’ve got more and more prestige collectors. More and more investors coming into the market, not just in the UK, the US and Europe, but the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) economies, and that has therefore created more of a demand for it,” Keith Heddle, Investment Director at Stanley Gibbons told CNBC.

“It has also attracted interest from some “very, very envious individual collectors,” he said.

Paul Fraser of Paul Fraser Collectibles, which invests in memorabilia and investment-grade collectibles, said collections from China in particular had appreciated spectacularly.

“China has changed dramatically,” he said.

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